It's difficult to encourage a love for reading in children if they have no books in their home and if there're no books on hand in their school classroom. So in 2013, Athol Williams and Taryn Lock started Read to Rise, a programme advocating youth literacy which operates predominantly in the Grade 2 and Grade 3 classes of primary schools in Mitchells Plain, Western Cape. Due to the success of the programme it has now expanded its operations into Gauteng, mainly around Soweto, Muldersdrift, Centurion and Thokaza.
This goal fits well with the Old Mutual Foundation portfolio to support vulnerable communities and during 2014 and 2015 the Foundation funded over R225 000 for the purpose of purchasing and distributing mini-libraries consisting of 50 new, government-approved books in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. Over and above this, each child receives their very own copy of "Oaky and the Sun", a book written by Athol Williams. For most of these children it's the first time they've ever owned a book.
© Photography by the Old Mutual Foundation & Mark Wessels